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Salt Lake broadcasting legend calls 3,500th baseball game

Salt Lake Bees broadcaster Steve Klauke points to the crowd after being honored at Smith's Ballpark on Monday. Klauke called his 3,500th game for Salt Lake. Jared Page/KSL Newsradio

SALT LAKE CITY — “It’s up there, it’s out there, it’s gone!”

Longtime Salt Lake Bees broadcaster Steve Klauke got to say it twice Monday night.

Klauke, the only play-by-play voice in Salt Lake franchise history, called his 3,500th game — a 3 1/2-hour 12-9 Bees loss to the Albuquerque Isotopes — a milestone commemorated by a pregame ceremony on the field. Klauke also got the chance to throw out the first pitch.

“It’s a very, very special day for yours truly,” he said during the broadcast from his booth at Smith’s Ballpark.

“A very special thanks to you the fans. All the kind comments you’ve had for me today on Twitter and Facebook, they’re greatly appreciated,” Klauke said, then quickly turning his attention back to the on-field action to describe a low fastball on a 2-2 count. “Because without you guys, I don’t have a job. And I really enjoy it — whether it was game 1 in Vancouver back in April of 1994 or game 3,500 here tonight in Salt Lake City against Albuquerque.”

And Klauke says he has no plans to hang up his mic and headphones anytime soon.

“Obviously, anybody in this business (has the) goal and dream to make it to the major leagues. While I’ve had a taste of it, at my age at 63, from a permanent standpoint that’s not going to happen. But I’ll guarantee you one thing: There isn’t another place in the world I would like to do triple-A baseball than here in Salt Lake City,” he said.

Heading into Monday’s game, Klauke had called 3,499 of the 3,520 games in franchise history. For 25 years, Klauke has ended his broadcasts of nearly 1,800 wins with his signature “Handshakes and high-fives all around;” and he’s served up his signature home run call — “It’s up there, it’s out there, it’s gone!” — nearly 3,400 times, according to the team.

“In my mind, Steve is one of the best broadcasters in the country at any level,” Bees President/General Manager Marc Amicone said in a statement. “Steve combines tireless preparation with an incredible ability to paint the picture for the listening audience, allowing us to be informed and entertained all season long. This franchise and its fans have been blessed to have Steve with us for over 25 years.”

In addition, the Larry H. Miller Charities donated $3,500 in Klauke’s name to Christmas Box House, a charity selected by the longtime broadcaster.

Klauke has been named Utah Sportscaster of the Year by his peers three times — 1995, 2014 and 2016 — and he was Ballpark Digest’s Baseball Broadcaster of the Year in 2014.

Klauke also calls the action for the Weber State University football and men’s basketball teams, and over the years has filled in as the radio broadcaster for the Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Utah Jazz and Utah Grizzlies, as well as the University of Utah football and men’s and women’s basketball teams.